Our Visit to Albert Mill Antiques in Helmshore, UK.

“Spinning our tale”.

Philip is standing on the bridge over Musbury Brook at the entrance to the centre. Love the stone walls.”

Philip is standing on the bridge over Musbury Brook at the entrance to the centre. Love the stone walls.”

One of our favorite activities is combining antiquing with history. So imagine our delight when we visited a new-to-us antique centre that had been originally built as a weaving mill during the second Industrial Revolution.

Our typical England shopping trips begin near Manchester, our flight hub, as soon as we pick up our luggage. Manchester is in the North West of England, near the Pennines mountains range and below the Lakes Region. Within the county of Lancanshire (the Red Rose in the War of the Roses), we have shopped at 5 antique centres, finding the best bargains of smalls and furniture. The area is nestled in a region that was home to the textile empire of the 1800s and we have often seen the large warehouses and factories as we travel through the area.

This trip, after flying all night, we stopped by Albert Mill Antiques in Helmshore (http://www.albertmillantiques.co.uk/). The centre features two full floors of antiques and mid-century modern and a basement with a few other treasures. There is also a tearoom, where we sampled the soup of the day and rested our weary bodies. There’s nothing like warm soup to keep a person going when they are without sleep.

The building itself is as interesting as the items it holds. It is a wonderful restored cotton weaving mill on the banks of the Musbury Brook, which feeds into the River Ogden in the village of Helmshore. It sits directly north of Manchester, about 16 miles away. It was built in 1861 and owned by James Barlow and Sons, cotton spinners and manufacturers. According to the antique centres’ website, the mill “provided work for several hundred people in this area. Here the manufacturers and workers produced fine and double superfine waste, twill sheets and shootings on 85 looms employing some 7000 spindles in the process.”

The centre has about 30 dealers and a good mix of true antiques and collectibles.

The centre has about 30 dealers and a good mix of true antiques and collectibles.

We can’t wait to show you what we bought at this centre! They had a good selection of quality furniture at good prices and the staff were helpful and friendly. Watch for the announcement about the container’s arrival, probably in late March.

Other favorite centres in the area include: Holden Wood Antiques in Haslingden (located in a former church), Pendle Antiques Centre in Sabden, Karlen Antiques in Burnley, Picture House Antiques in Todmorden and Caldene Antiques Centre in Mytholmroyd. It makes a good day when we visit all of these centres, though we’re ready to drop by the end of our 30 hour day!

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